“A 21st-century reinvention of a Tuscan farmhouse, with light white spaces and modernist infinity pool overlooking a Val d’Orcia nature reserve”
White walls, crisp white linen, pale limestone floors; even the rustic beams-and-terracotta ceilings have been modernised with a mist of white paint. But this is not po-faced minimalism. Each light, white room, is jollied up with splashes of colour - red or green trims on white pillow-slips, for example; or textured walls of resin cement in deep shades (yellow for sunlight, blue for bathrooms, red for fireplaces). And there is natural colour too: squares of warm sunlight cast on pale surfaces, or picture windows that frame a true-blue sky, a perfect landscape.
La Bandita has 8 rooms: 7 in the in the main house (a Standard, 3 Deluxe and 3 Superior) and self-contained Pig Sty Suite in a converted outbuilding which also has a fully-equipped with a kitchen and a flexible living space - perfect for a family. They are all furnished in the same style with four-poster beds, extra-high ceilings and extra-large, walk-in showers. The Standard has twin beds; the Deluxe are much like the Superior, except they are larger, with an extra single bed, an in-room tub and waterfall steam showers.
There is no restaurant as such but resident Italian chef Dario Ferreri is on hand to rustle up lunch and a communal family-style dinner daily. On warm evenings, dinner is served at a long candlelit table under the pergola on the terrace. If you want a more intimate dinner, somewhere more private, just ask.
The food is pure Italian, and designed around fresh local produce. Lunch is usually pasta or a generous seasonal salad (fig, buffalo mozzarella and balsamic, served with lemon pasta and fresh basil). Typical dinner dishes include slow-roasted duck leg with grilled vegetables, or pan-seared Branzino with cherry tomatoes, clams, mussels and roasted fennel, followed by wild strawberries with frutta di bosco sorbet and candied mint. You can pick up a few cooking tips while watching Dario prepare the food in the open-plan kitchen.
Breakfast offers a healthy selection of whole-grain cereals (granola, muesli), seasonal fruit smoothies or fruit salads, yoghurt and, when it’s hot, iced lattes.
Guests in the Pig Sty suite can rustle up their own meals in a fully equipped kitchenette with fridge and hob. There are delis and a supermarket in Pienza.
If you want to eat out then head for Pienza (15-minutes drive) where there are several good, traditional trattoria.
Children are welcome and under 12 year olds eat for free; cots and extra beds are free. Your children will love this place - the sheep, the open space, the sense of freedom, the pool. Whether the cool, hip crowd that fetch up here will love your children is another matter.
The Pig Sty Suite is a perfect family bolt-hole with its own kitchen and sofa-beds in the sitting room; there are also extra beds in the Deluxe rooms, which also have their own private terraces.
Available by arrangement
There are baby monitors to borrow
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The on-site chef can rustle up kids meals and can accommodate special requests. The honesty bar has juices for the kids